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>> pelley: tonight, changing strategies in the battle for the white house. both campaigns zero in on the key battleground state of ohio where new polls show it's still very much up for grabs. reports from jan crawford, nancy cordes and john dickerson. convicted rapist jerry sandusky makes a ram bring defense of his innocence, but the judge has the final word. armen keteyian on the sentencing of the former penn state coach. elizabeth palmer takes us inside the compound in libya where the u.s. ambassador died, in his own bedroom. and byron pitts with angels in overalls. >> reporter: how do you see these women? are they girlfriends? neighbors? >> they're my heroes!
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(laughs) captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. as of today we are down to the final four weeks of the presidential campaign. the focus is narrowing, not just to the nine battleground states but to one in particular-- ohio, which could tip the balance on election night. first the big picture. nationally, the latest gallup poll shows mitt romney leading president obama 49% to 47%. that spread is within the margin of error, so it's essentially a tie. in ohio, new polling today shows this: pollster a.r.g. has romney up by one point, 48% to 47%. but a cnn poll has the president up by four, 51% to 47%. either way, it's an improvement for romney who was falling well behind in ohio until last week's
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debate. both candidates were in ohio today where this is the last day to register to vote. our campaign 2012 correspondents reason there, too, and we'll go to nancy cordes with the obama campaign. >> reporter: scott, ohio is the grand prize for the obama campaign. they have 120 field offices here, the president has held 17 rallies in this state, more than any other state, but in the debate last week he failed to mention some major issues that are very important to ohio voters, like that auto bailout or shipping jobs overseas. that's a mistake he did not make today here in columbus. >> when you think about ohio, when governor romney said that we should let the auto industry go bankrupt we said no, we're not going to take your advice. (boos) don't boo, vote. (cheers and applause) and we reinvented a dying auto stay supports one in eight ohio
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jobs and has come roaring back to the top of the world. (cheers and applause) >> reporter: on deficit reduction, the president accused romney of salesmanship, not leadership, part of the new approach by this president to attack not just romney's policies, scott, but his character. >> pelley: nancy, thank you. the obama campaign has been running ads in ohio for months painting romney has a hard-hearted businessman indifferent to layoffs. romney now has 28 days to turn that around. jan crawford is with the campaign tonight. jan? >> reporter: well, scott, romney arrived here in ohio with a boost in momentum and a slightly different approach. he's showing a softer side. he's also being more aggressive in defending himself. at his family's urging, romney-- a private man-- has been telling personal stories of helping others. today in iowa he talked of meeting a former navy seal who was killed, along with three other americans, in the attacks in libya.
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>> and it -- itouched me, obviously, as i recognized this young man that i thought was so impressive had lost his life in the service of his fellow men and women. >> reporter: now, romney is also being more force informal defending himself from those attacks as he focuses on these states that could decide the election. scott, he will be here in ohio four days this week. >> pelley: thank you, jan. also in ohio is our political director john dickerson. john, how much should we make of romney's new momentum? >> reporter: well, here in the state they're seeing it all over the place. the lines for tickets for an event in the northeastern part of the state were so long that officials here are saying that it might be the biggest of romney's entire campaign. but campaign officials are cautious. they know it's a long slog ahead. if you count the electoral votes that president obama has locked up, he has -- or almost locked up, he has about a 30-vote lead
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over governor romney so campaign officials are very cautious. they also say that it can be seductive when polls are going very well in lots of different states, campaigns can spend time in a state that they really in the end based on the fundamentals are not likely to win. but i talked to another campaign official who said given the way things were going a week ago, having too many opportunities is a good problem to have. >> pelley: strategy and tactics changing. john, thanks very much. tomorrow a state department official is expected to tell congress that he warned his bosses that security in libya was getting worse before they that attack on the u.s. consulate. correspondent sharyl attkisson tells us his warnings include a log of 230 security incidents that occurred over a year. eric nordstrom is expected to testify that his request for more troops and officers was turned down. as you know, u.s. ambassador chris stevens and three other americans were killed in the attack in benghazi last month.
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today elizabeth palmer made it inside the room where the ambassador died. >> reporter: the u.s. compound in benghazi now sits empty and abandoned. if the men who attacked these buildings on september 11 used heavy weapons, there are few signs of it. but over every window there's evidence of the billowing smoke that killed two americans, including ambassador chris stevens. inside post-it notes cling to the blackened wall, left behind by f.b.i. investigators who finally made it to this crime scene for a single day last week. cell phone video from the night of the attack shows the fire burning as looters swarmed over the compound. now a blanket of soot covers the ruins. but investigators will have been looking closely for evidence to show who set the blaze. this heavy steel securi gate seals the sleeping quarters behind me off from the rest of the consulate building. it's double-locked from the
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inside, probably by the people who took refuge in here that night. among them, ambassador chris stevens. the space includes the ambassador's own bedroom. it was set up to be a secure retreat from attack. note the barred windows all around. but that night it turned into a trap. government sources say stevens' personal security guard managed to climb out a window, perhaps this one where the bars were removed. the question is why stevens, left behind in the dark and the smoke, didn't follow. his body was pulled from that same window by a crowd hours later. the september 11 attack wasn't the first on the u.s. consulate. it had been bombed in june. on september 8, jamal busha'la, a commander of one of benghazi's most powerful militias, met with three americans-- one from the u.s. embassy-- to warn them about deteriorating security. >> ( translated ): benghazi's
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not safe. >> reporter: you told that to the americans? >> yeah, i tried to. >> pelley: liz palmer joins us from benghazi. liz, that rebel commander had pretty specific warnings. is there any indication the state department took them to heart? >> reporter: he said that his impression was -- his advice was sort of shrugged off. but that meeting, i should add, was called with the commanders to discuss the possibility of american private investment returning to benghazi, that they were even discussing it under the circumstances is quite remarkable. >> pelley: liz, thank you. now, this evening our state department correspondent margaret brennan has learned new details from state department sources on what happened the night of the attack, margaret joins us now from washington. margaret? >> scott, we know now that the ambassador was taken to a safe room, a bunker-like area inside the residence by one security agent who remained with him. this is after the attack began
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around 9:40 p.m. the four other agents ran to get heavy arms to protect the compound. while they were gone, attackers entered the building, sprayed diesel fuel, and lit it on fire. the smoke became so thick that the agent decided they should leave that safe room. he tried to crawl out the window. he got out first-- standard procedure-- but the ambassador did not. the agent then goes back into that room several times but suffered from smoke inhalation and he never found the ambassador. he radioed for backup, the other agents didn't even know that the residence was on fire, scott. >> pelley: this tells us more than we knew about how the ambassador was separated from his security detail. margaret, thank you very much. the international monetary fund warned today that europe's financial crisis could be a drag on the world economy for years.
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that wasn't the news that wall street wanted to hear. the dow dropped 110 points to close below 13,500. one of the big fears is that greece won't be able to pay its debts. today the german chancellor, angela merkel, flew to athens to show support for the greek government and to make sure that it goes ahead with severe budget cuts. mark phillips is there. >> reporter: her official welcome was dignified with all the usual state visit trappings. her unofficial welcome was angry and laced with uncomfortable imagery of what many greeks think of the german leader. no insult was spared. angela merkel is being called the most despised person in greece. she's insisted to prime minister antonis samaras that european bailout money that is keeping greece afloat only be paid if the government continues to make severe cuts in jobs, services,
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and pensions. merkel told the greeks she understood their suffering. they told her in their tens of thousands that they've suffered enough. most of the demonstrators were peaceful, some were not. and athens once more became a battleground of flying bricks and tear gas. the confrontation between the hard core demonstrators and the police was pretty minor by local standards. the confrontation between greece and the harsh economic realitys will go on a lot longer. panagiotis lanaros is not a man prone to demonstrate. a 73-year-old former construction worker, he lives on a pension that's already been cut by 20% to about $13,000 a year. it's not enough for him and his wife to live on let alone to help his now unemployed daughter joanna and her family. do you think things will get worse from now on? >> i think yes.
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>> reporter: you think it will still get worse? >> yes. >> reporter: do you worry about your future and the future of your children? >> very much. >> pelley: greece has more immediate worries and mark phillips is joining us now from athens. mark, the greeks are hoping for another $17 billion bailout in the next few weeks from europe. i wonder, what do they have to do to get that? >> well, that's part of the reason that angela merkel was here today. they have to satisfy merkel and the e.u. and the european central bank and the international monetary fund that they're going to continue to make the severe cuts in spending that those bodies think are necessary. as for the families like the one that we saw-- and there are millions of them-- their concern is that this is perpetual increasing misery, which is why they're so angry. >> pelley: a story that has years to go. mark, thanks very much. today jerry sandusky faced his victims as he was sentenced. and a record sky dive is put on
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center county courthouse for a sentencing hearing that lastedless than 70 minutes. lead prosecutor joseph mcgettigan stepped to the podium and called sandusky's sexual acts cruel beyond imagination. he labeled the charity for troubled boys founded by the former penn state coach a victim's factories. >> he will spend his life in prison, at he should. >> reporter: you had outrage in your voice communicating to the judge that you were speaking on behalf of the victims. >> yes, and for myself because the defendant, by his statements seemed to revictimize these young men who he tormented and victimized for so long. >> reporter: one of the victims addressed the court through tears and said "i've been left with deep painful wounds that you caused and have been buried in the garden of my heart." another spoke of experiencing flashbacks of abuse. "he took away my childhood the day he assaulted me." sandusky sat like a statue not ten feet away. 40 minutes in he rose and
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rambled on for 16 minutes. he never apologized for the young boys whose trust he had betrayed. his only denial a virtual carbon copy of an audiotape released to the public last night. >> they can take away my life, they can make me out as a monster, they can treat me as a monster but they can't take away my heart. in my heart i know i do not do these alleged disgusting acts. >> reporter: then senior judge john cleland pronounced a sentence. "it's this remarkable ability to deceive that makes these crimes so heinous" he said before imposing the equivalent of a life sentence on the 68-year-old sandusky. lead defense attorney joe amendola said they will file an appeal within the next ten days but given this sentence, scott, sandusky won't even be eligible for parole until he's 98 years old. >> pelley: armen, thank you. there is a new warning tonight for people who may have been infected in a deadly outbreak of meningitis. we'll have that next.
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>> pelley: that deadly meningitis outbreak tied to tainted steroid injections just keep spreading. today new jersey became the tenth state to report the infection. 119 people have become ill and 11 have died. tennessee has seen the worst of it and manuel bojorquez is at a hospital in nashville. >> reporter: ron barbe drove himself to st. thomas hospital in nashville this afternoon. he received two injections of a
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steroid for lower back pain last month. >> symptoms started this morning. slight stiff neck and a headache so i went to see my family doctor and he sent me up here. >> reporter: a spinal tap will determine whether barbe has men united states. i can't imagine what that feeling might be like for you. >> i can't explain it, really. it's been a week of stress and this drive up here was pretty stressful. >> reporter: and for thousands of others who received steroid injections, the stress won't go away soon. this afternoon, health officials warned patients will need to watch for symptoms for three months-- not the previously recommended 30 days. one patient developed meningitis symptoms 42 days after a tainted steroid shot. tennessee health officials say they've identified a second fung gas in the tainted vials, a fung gas most doctors never encounter in all their years practicing medicine. that makes for many nervous people. barbara jenkins is one of them.
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>> we did not get any call from anyone except just a routine fallowup call. >> reporter: she says the first phone call about the three shots her husband received gave new clue he might be at risk for meningitis and now they both are angst. >> i know my husband is sick of me saying -- "do you feel okay" because that's what i ask him all the time is "do you feel okay?" >> reporter: st. thomas hospital officials acknowledge they did not use the word "meningitis" in a first round of calls to patients. scott, the hospital said as the situation became more clear it was then able to issue a specific warning. >> pelley: manuel, thank you very much. the waiting may be the hardest part for daredevil felix baumgartner. his plan to sky dive from a capsule a record 23 miles above the earth was postponed again today. it appears the ultra thin balloon that was to take him into the stratosphere may have
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>> pelley: finally tonight, you may be tired of hearing so much about this election year with one side tearing down the other so we decided to end tonight with folks who have found something a lot more construct american who would impress not only the framers-- but the plumbers and the tilers as well. here's byron pitts. >> reporter: down this red dirt road west of charlotte we followed the sound of hammers and found a story -- >> can somebody bring me some nails? >> reporter: -- about focusing on services and setting aside differences. how many republicans do we have here? okay. how many democrats do we have here? >> and independents! >> reporter: this is madge jones' house. the roof leaks. >> this is pretty bad here. >> reporter: since her husband died two and a half years ago she had no money to fix it. she made one phone call. in a matter of days a group of volunteers showed up armed with tool belts and enthusiasm. raise your hand if you had
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roofing experience before you started doing this work. (laughter) one. they're known as the women roofers. they've repaired roofs for free for the past ten years. they have one rule: what's said on the roof stays on the roof. they've only rejected one volunteer. >> the only one that we never invited back spent the whole afternoon "hand me a hammer, sugar." or "hand me a hammer, sweetie" so we never invited him back. >> reporter: nell bovender organized the group and manages donations for supplies. >> we only help people that make less than half of the median income. that's a family of two that makes less than $20,000 a year. that's not a lot of money. >> reporter: you have lots of folks like that here? >> we have 135 people on the waiting list. >> reporter: rutherford county's unemployment rate is 14.2%, fourth-highest in north carolina. when the factories closed, jobs
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moved overseas. most of these volunteers are professional women-- a nurse, small business owner, retiree. so if you all could talk to the two men who want to be our next president, what would you want to ask them? >> take a lesson from what we do because i work alongside with this group of women-- some of the most conservative republicans, some of the most liberal democrats-- and we're working together for a common good. why can't the two sides find the common ground to make a difference? >> wow. >> reporter: this group made a difference for madge jones. how do you see these women? are they neighbors? are they -- >> they're my heroes! (laughs) >> reporter: the philosophy here is pretty simple. pick a problem and fix it. byron pitts, cbs news, rutherfordton, north carolina. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night.
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captioning sponsored by cbs this is 9news now. >> despite the scandal, all the evidence against him and the incredible amount of pain he caused. jerry sandusky remains defiant today before a judge sentenced him to 30 years in prison, what essentially amounts it life behind bars. andrea mccarren has more from the courthouse in bellefonte, pennsylvania. >> reporter: jerry sandusky testified that he has been the victim in this child sex abuse scandal. several young men claim otherwise. one victim said through tears, he forced me to touch him. he called it horseplay and only later did i understand this was sexual assault. i'm troubled by flashbacks of his naked body. another testified, he took away my chdh

CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley
CBS October 9, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

News/Business. Scott Pelley. (2012) New. (HD) (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Pelley 12, U.s. 6, Dennis 5, Benghazi 5, Sandusky 5, Greece 5, Jerry Sandusky 5, Romney 5, Angela Merkel 3, Scott 3, Obama 3, Athens 3, Libya 3, Byron Pitts 3, Chris Stevens 3, Europe 2, Nashville 2, Michael 2, Elizabeth Palmer 2, Cbs 2
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